A musician, artist, designer, model, photographer and athlete; Sierra Lundy wears many hats. We wanted to catch up with her and discuss life.
Where are you from/Where are you now/What do you do?
I guess I do what I do with what I know to get where I go.
I’m from Salt Spring Island, born and raised amid the moss, the tofu and Fleetwood Mac. Now I’m living on a bigger island, contemplating running away with a boy to sing in bar called Comatose and maybe paint some people on the way. Between then and now, I played provincial and national level soccer, got hit by a truck and went to university out East to get crazy in the art studio. I learned how to make garments without destroying sewing machines in fashion school, got hooked on Tom Robins and kiteboarding, swing danced, and hiked the West Coast Trail.
Where do you feel most at home?
In a big old sweater, one that fits all of me (and loved ones if we squeeze)
How are you the same person you were as a child?
I’m mischievous, sardonic, moody. I still annoy my sister and I hate bedtime.
What's a smell that elicits a strong memory from your past?
Whenever I catch the aroma of pine, it brings me back to ‘“selling smelling sticks,” which were twigs that my sister danica and I carved on a secret log in the forest that we called our “workshop.” We sold them for10¢ each — my mom bought one for 15¢.
Amber perfume also tugs at my childhood. It reminds me of treasures my mom would collect for us in tins, and brings me back to our 78 orange Volkswagen van, the sap-hair days in the cabin, where we learned about ghosts, and the walks we took under coffee-tin lamp light — the lamps my dad made with the wire handles and candles that looked more like wax monsters.
Meet The Artist
Do you think the environment in which you were raised influenced your decision to become an artist?
I grew up as a boy named Charlie Mason with my sister Emily, (actually Danica), making chips- and-beans-and-sour-cream sandwiches and drawing secret bee tattoos on our toes. We were always characters, playing, inventing, concocting fictional stories to live out... the woods was our theater, everything came from the woods.
But my environment might have encouraged it more so than others: our dining table was an antique covered in paint, our shelves were my dad’s carvings, and his drawings were more real to me than photographs. My mom always drew us princesses with their hands behind their backs (hands are hard to draw), and Valentine’s card-making was always a big event — we always had more cards than friends.
I was always creating, but my decision to actually pursue art came a lot later in life - I was a ball of energy as a kid and spent all my time playing sports and dancing/wiggling.
What does your process look like from conception to creation?
My concepts usually come from questions, sometimes simple curiosities, and sometimes ridiculous ones that come with the wine — such as my wondering how the rest of my body feels about my hands being such a vital role to me as an artist (I then made a painting giving all my body parts a chance with the paint brush).
Or, what does the expression “get your head out of the sand” really mean? This became a depiction of a dessert speckled with men growing chin up into the sky from the ground like cacti... I’m butchering this explanation, you’ll have to look this one up on my website. Sometimes it happens the other way around: I’ll go into it without an intention and then slowly invent one, or my own art out-wits me, and ends up saying something more or different than I intended it to.
As for completion — I think something is only complete when me and my art finally get each other, conceptually and aesthetically, or agree not to... if that makes sense. I will often deem a work ‘finished’ if I’m satisfied with not understanding.
Where do you tend to seek out inspiration?
The sea gives me lots to think about. Its vastness is a blanket to spread all my thoughts upon — the ones that can swim anyway. I also find it in people, moss, riddles, the lundy pit, dim-lit lounges, a new expression on someone’s face, wine....
Meet The Musician
Who has musically influenced you the most?
Gillian Welch, Shovels and Rope, Carson Isenor, Bob Dylan, Felice Brothers, Cave Singers, Simon and Garfunkel, Johnny and June, people with rhythm in their steps, Jon and Roy and Lou, of course.
Would you say your art influences your music in anyway or vice versa?
Not directly, although the way I sing is much like the way I paint — fluctuating in accordance to the lyrics and mood of the song, just as painting strokes get soft in spots and aggressive and moody in others.
I also incorporate things I’ve learned in art school into my music; such as different art movements and their influences, and more particularly, the concepts that induce the art: why what was made was made, and does that even matter? In this way, for both art and music, when I have an unsettling feeling about something I make, it compels me to pick it apart, to understand it, or at least make a voracious effort to. And in that attention I pay towards it, develops a strong connection, a love that makes me want to continue.
I like when art or music tricks me, when something about it doesn’t make sense, whether that be a chord progression, lyrics, colour dissonance — these are effects that are common to both my art and music. When I don’t understand it, that’s when I truly have to engage with it and work with it. It’s only then that we become a team.
Photos: Sara Spectrum
Clothing: Sooke Flannel
- The Sitka Team